Who pays?

Reading Canadian newspapers would give one the idea that Canadians expect the government to be responsible for everything. I’ve certainly seen the phrases “the government spends their money on”, or “the government should pay for”. I’ve also often seen the comment that “the government has a surplus”.

I have an aunt who always used to tell me, when you see the word “government”, substitute the word “taxpayer”. The government isn’t spending their money – they don’t have any. They are spending yours.

Also, for those who don’t see to understand, the government gets all of its income from taxpayers. It does not generate any revenue (nor does it ever seem to save any money). If the government has a surplus, it means simply that they overtaxed citizens. Whether you disagree with how little tax the rich pay, or how much the poor pay, we paid too much.

I’m of the opinion that I know better how to spend my money that the government does.